Self-Investment is the Ultimate Wealth Strategy

Self-investment

The internet is the most crowded marketplace in human history.

In such a chaotic place, finding the right investment advice is painful. To this day, I have consumed hundreds of blog articles, YouTube videos, and podcasts about ETFs, stocks, Bitcoin & Co.

My research findings, however, have been depressing:

  • Put my money in the bank (it’s always good to start with a joke)? Nope.
  • ETFs and stocks? Massively over-valued.
  • Real estate? An upcoming bubble, according to a lot of experts.
  • Bitcoin? Too risky and volatile.

I was tired of conventional investment advice. I needed alternatives.

What Would Elon Do?

In times of tribulation, today’s internet generation turns towards saviors. And one of their biggest saviors is Elon Musk. So here’s the magical question that solves almost any problem:

What would Elon do?

The answer lies in Elon Musk’s legendary career:

  • In 1995, Elon started Zip2, a software for newspapers. In 1999, he sold it for 307 million dollars to Compaq.
  • In 1999, he took almost all of his money from Zip2 and started X.com, an online payment system. Eventually, X.com evolved into Paypal and was sold for 1.5 Billion dollars to eBay.
  • In 2002, Elon took almost all of his money from Paypal and started SpaceX.
  • In the next years, he started Tesla, Solar City, OpenAI, Neuralink, The Boring Company, and Thud. In that process, he was even on the brink of bankruptcy.

So, who can spot the recurring pattern here?

Yup. Every single time, Elon took all of his money from his previous startup success and invested it right back into his next business endeavor.

This is remarkable. Instead of working towards profit, Elon relentlessly marches toward his long-term vision. He doesn’t care about wealth in the current moment, but only about his mission for a better future.

3 Simple Words

As Elon Musk’s mindset became clear to me, I remembered this little piece of financial advice I have heard dozens of times yet always neglected:

Invest in yourself.

It makes sense — after all, I’m the most important asset in my life.

No Apple stocks. Not MSCI World. No Bitcoin wallet. Not even Tesla.

What seems more valuable to you?

  • 10k of cash, or solid data science skills?
  • Having a pile of stocks, or some promising side business you’re passionate about?
  • An ETF portfolio, or waking up energized every single day?

I let you decide.

The Dangerous Path of Least Resistance

For some strange reason, self-investment is underrated.

Sorry, I have to correct myself. There’s a small breed of people who follow this piece of advice rigorously.

Matter of fact, the most successful people on the planet invest heavily in themselves. And Elon Musk is definitely not the only one.

How come NBA superstar LeBron James is investing 1,5 million dollars in his body every single year?
It’s obvious — his body is his capital.

Warren Buffett, arguably the most successful investor in human history, puts it like this:

“Ultimately, there’s one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself, nobody can take away what you’ve got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven’t used yet.” — Warren Buffett

However, Average Joe isn’t dimly aware of the self-investment-mindset. Why is that?

Maybe because he’s lazy. He loves to choose the easier option:

  • It’s so much easier to follow powerful people and their business decisions blindly than to actually work on oneself.
  • It’s so much easier to download a trading-app and buy Microsoft stocks than to find your unique strengths and constantly work on them.
  • Listening to finance gurus on YouTube is so much easier than going into the real world, talking to real people, and finding investment opportunities in his local surroundings.

Outsourcing Your Destiny

Traditional investment is heavily based on forces you can’t control. Unforeseeable events. Insider knowledge. Bad decisions of very powerful people.

Just once you are not careful enough and a lot of money will be gone — ask any Wirecard investor. This is extremely stressful.

Sure, a sensible investor always does extensive research. Yet, at some point, he’s outsourcing his destiny to bankers, CEOs, and politicians.

Neo in the Matrix

If you’re investing in yourself, you’re putting yourself in the center of your life. That’s some scary stuff. At that point, herd mentality doesn’t work anymore. You’re supposed to think on your own. Nobody can help you anymore.

Now, I’m not an expert on self-investment. I’m still at the beginning of my journey.
But for me, self-investment includes several aspects:

  • My knowledge
  • My skills
  • My health
  • My mental well-being (this the investment of the future!)
  • My experiences
  • My social circle

Once you start to invest in these things, money on your bank account won’t matter that much anymore.

You’ll become the kind of person who’s able to go into any foreign country, with no knowledge of the dominant language, no money, no connections, and still end up as a wealthy man.

Or do you really think Elon Musk will ever go bankrupt after having invested in himself for more than 30 years?

The Future is Uncertain

We’re living in times of massive acceleration.

If Covid-19 has taught us one thing, then that life can change in a matter of days.
Nobody knows what’s going to happen in the next 10, 20, or 50 years. Nobody can tell you which company is going to become the next Google. And no internet-guru knows whether Bitcoin is going to last.

But I can tell you one thing: you are responsible for your own future.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing traditional investment advice. Classical investment is still effective; diversification matters; and it’s great to understand modern money theory. But for God’s sake, don’t bet your life on it. Start to bet on yourself.

A New Path

For my part, I view self-investment as the start of my personal adventure.

I see it like that: If I had 10 million dollars in my bank account, what would my life look like?

I would build software (as I already do), create content online (as I already do), and try to help as many people as I can (as I already do). So why shouldn’t I invest in this kind of lifestyle from the start? Why taking a detour?

I’m going to invest in my future, my side-projects, my skills, and my family’s happiness. Sure, I will save some cash for hard times. And I will even google “secret stock tips” from time to time. But I‘m aware it’s only a bonus.

Thank you, Elon!